Me, Myself & I
Let's have a chat, shall we?
I have something on my mind as of late and I really need to scratch this hitch sooner rather than later.
Throughout this series of articles, I made no secret that I choose many entries not because they appealed to my personal tastes (heck, I'm probably on the lower hand of the spectrum when it comes to superpowered feats, I take 100 displays of skill insane skill and control over a single act of random destruction), but because they surprised me. I think that the mark of a great writer is finding that extra pinch of spice, that small something that either flips the story on its head or makes everything really engaging beyond the simple feats of power and shiny costume.
So what about a story that is pure wish-fulfillment?
What about a story where wish-fulfillment is literally what moves the plot forward?
Well, to my eternal shame, allow me to introduce you to:
For a minute, when I read the first chapter of Baker's Dozen, I really felt that this story would not be a favorite of mine. The premise is kind of cool but, for someone that has been around this community for a long time, it felt like something we had done to death... until I noticed the small print: our protagonist, Boddy Baker, can wish to make up to twelve women into the superwomen, but all these wishes are non-revokable. One might think that this is a small deal, but it's the perfect monkey's paw. Bobby knows what is going to happen, but he has no idea how, nor he can really foresee the potential consequences. Genius.
As a result, every chapter of this story is a discovery, an attempt from Bobby to fix something with this newfound power... usually causing some unintended consequences in the meantime. The best definition I can think of is that it's a superpowered Sit-Com... or is it?
As funny as this premise is, it would have lost steam pretty quickly, if it wasn't for Argo's great skill at putting the characters in situations that really makes them endearing to the reader. Bobby starts as a very bland audience insert, but I dare you, I dare all of you not to grow attached as he struggles with the start of his relationship with one of these superwomen. About that, initially, I felt like this was... kind of forced, because every girl transformed seemed to be insanely into Bobby, but with each passing chapter I realized that this was just what jumpstarted everything. If I have to choose a word to define their relationship I'd use "cute". There is a sexual element to hit, but it's not central, which is the key point for me. In short, Argo managed to hit every high note on my personal scale in a story that I thought would go in a completely different direction.
Right now the story has been on hiatus since 2016, but since Argo is still around: "Man, I can count on one hand the stories that need a continuation more than this one. You left us with a big cliffhanger (that I'm not going to spoil here)."